NO website, YES problem. Here’s why websites are becoming more important in the health industry (PLUS, what to do and how to do it)

Published on 14 March 2023
Updated on 22 January 2024
by HeartBeat Digital Marketing
Websites are now more important than ever in medical practice marketing. But, how do you get a website up and running? Here's how, and why they're so important.
Asking a question at a conference

The gist in 30 seconds

  • A large range of health professionals and practices are at risk of losing certain tax breaks and worse if they don’t make a “public offer”
  • A public offering can fall in the form of a website which might sound difficult, but creating or developing your own website and getting it up and running is easier than many people think
  • There are a number of options that work alongside and support websites like SEO, paid advertising and social media

Did you know? Recently, a business operating three medical centres under a shared services model was ordered to pay nearly $800,000 in payroll tax, interest and penalties.

In a nutshell, the investigation and subsequent tribunal found that despite the doctors at the practice working as contractors and individual sole traders co-located on the same premises, the doctors’ agreements with the medical centre and how money flowed meant the business had to pay payroll tax.

The main business activity was a general medical practice, and the medical centre owner could not continue business without the services of the doctors.

More information on the recent court decisions can be found here and here.

There are other interesting takeaways too

Depending on your state/territory, many medical professionals are finding that they are better off (and safer off) having their own websites.

This is due to payroll tax, or more specifically, the risk of losing certain tax breaks, especially those in similar arrangements as the above mentioned business.

Some in the sphere have pointed out that practices and contracted health professionals may be at risk of a payroll or income tax audit if its contractor GPs are not seen to be “making a public offer” of such services.

This Medical Republic article highlights the importance of having an independent medical and health contractor website depending on your arrangement.

The above also highlights the greater importance of finding out exactly where you stand.

The message is clear; websites are becoming more important in the health industry—and help is available

At HeartBeat Digital, we’ve been putting health professionals online for years while curating their digital presence to ratchet up or down the business that they require.

Yes, down too. We know that some health providers operate at maximum capacity and the idea of new or additional websites can conjure up worries of overload.

Our experts analyse healthcare business positions, (potential) digital footprints and needs to tailor a plan perfectly suited to their environment.

Over a few strong coffees, here’s what the HeartBeat Digital team shared to ensure you’re in the know—and on the same page as the ATO.

A HeartBeat Digital expert designing a website

What to do

If you’re a contracted doctor or health professional, you need your own website and individual domain, including a separate email address.

Hint: a domain is what comes after the @ symbol in an email address or ‘www’ in a website. Of course, in Australia, we use .au domain names.

Your personal website can be provided as a link on a clinic’s website where you might practise.

In other words, if a contracted health professional is working at ‘Clinic A’, they simply need to provide their website URL (address) to Clinic A in order for that clinic to add a link within their website to the contracted health professional’s own site.

The issue that most people have is actually getting a website up and running.

How to do it

Option 1 – hire a professional

Similarly to building a house, professional help means just that. A website not only needs content and branding plugged in, but also correct image sizing (pixels and data size), healthcare information and accessibility (appointment bookings for example).

Creating your own website is certainly possible, but if you don’t have the time and know-how to make it happen, the best course of action is to hire a professional to make your website and get it up and running correctly on desktop, tablet and of course, mobile.

HeartBeat Digital web developers have built hundreds of healthcare websites and know the exact formula for success, and the intricacies involved in this sector.

Option 2 – Do it yourself

Creating a website yourself doesn’t require a huge amount of money, in fact there are many templates available ‘off the shelf’ that relate to specific industries. The main thing you will need is time.

While it’s quite easy to get started, getting the website finished and looking perfect on all devices will require time and effort.

Typically, building your own website means creating the content (text, titles, images and elements like maps and booking portals), plugging the content into a template and registering the domain.

Some great places to start building your own website:

There’s also all the other stuff

Functioning websites need regular curation, for example, removing, updating and adding information as time goes by.

Your location, services and contact details might change and topics become relevant at certain times, think COVID, the flu and skin checks, so you’ll need to keep your information up to date.


SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, means implementing changes to a website’s content to make it appear in search results, like Google for example.

You’ll want a strong SEO strategy to ensure your website gets in front of the right people, eg., those searching for specific keywords like ‘skin checks in Sydney’ or ‘GP near me’.


PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising is an awesome tool for all businesses. These ads appear when people search for specific keywords or visit specific websites (including social media).

As the name suggests, you’ll only pay for these ads when and if someone clicks on them.

Paid ads work much faster than SEO because SEO takes a while (months in most cases) for search engines like Google to scan, learn and rank them.

A good ads campaign can get appointment schedules filled very quickly, should your business require.

Social media

Social media gives audiences a chance to engage with you and your business in a different way.

For example, social media posts tell the everyday stories of you and your business while encouraging people to click through to your website, get to know you and ideally, make a booking.

Make it happen

There’s no denying that many health professionals will be faced with some tough decisions and the realisation that a website (at a minimum) is a must.

Whether your aim is to simply comply with the ATO’s requirements or overhaul your business with a new digital footprint aimed at increased patient numbers, it can happen very quickly.

We’re talking days in some cases.

The important takeaway is that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to building businesses, so get in touch with the HeartBeat Digital team for a chat about your needs and how we can help.

About HeartBeat Digital

We help businesses thrive through creative and digital growth strategies. There has never been a more important time to get your digital presence in order. Put your website to work and attract new customers to your business. Increase your visibility and consolidate your online presence across all platforms.

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